‘Stop smiling!’

Mother forced to breastfeed while standing on packed train after no one offers her a seat

Kate Hitchens (Instagram)

A U.K. woman’s Instagram post about the difficulties faced by new mothers — and the lack of consideration from her fellow passengers on a packed commuter train — has gone viral on social media. Kate Hitchens and her 6-month-old son Charlie were riding a train home from London, the mother wrote, when a woman noticed that the exhausted mother was struggling and needed to sit down.

“One lady looked up from her book and immediately offered me her seat, another lady then sat in it and when the lovely lady said ‘Oh excuse me I actually gave up my seat so this lady with a baby could sit down’ the sitting lady shrugged, plugged her earphones in and closed her eyes!” Hitchens recalled. “I like to think that she needed that seat more than me, perhaps she was newly pregnant and in that early exhaustion period, perhaps she was knackered after a day at work, perhaps she was ill. Or perhaps she was just a twat. I hope not.”

For the rest of the half hour she was on the train, she added, not a single person offered her a seat. As a result, she was forced to breastfeed her hungry 20-pound baby while standing.

“What has the world come to that a mother has to stand up on a moving train breastfeeding a wriggling and writhing 6 month old, 20lb baby?!” she wondered. “I could have asked, but I didn’t. I felt silly. I shouldn’t have to ask. Maybe some people didn’t see. I know for a fact some did; they made eye contact and actually smiled at me. I was thinking stop smiling and offer me your seat please!”

“I cannot get my head around not offering a parent with a child a seat,” she continued. “Next time you see someone with a child on a train — if you’re able bodied and fit and healthy please offer your seat to them!”

Read the full story at ABC News.

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